Last year I bought a 42" 1080i plasma and got ready to make the jump into the exciting world of HD.... Yeah, right. Truth be told, I've never even watched a single HD show.
Here's my problem:
I really prefer watching standard definition broadcasts in wide screen format (panoramic, if you will). I know this distorts the picture a bit but it's my personal preference and with the panoramic setting, I really don't notice the distortion on the sides very much.
When I hooked up my HD set to my HD cable box, I used an HDMI cable at first. I tuned the set to an HD channel and... WOW! I loved it. High fives all around.
Problem is, I then turned the set to a standard channel and saw that I was now viewing the channel in standard format (4:3) with black bars on the right and left sides. And there was nothing I could do about it. My only option was going to be running 2 cables from my cable box: an HDMI for the HD channels and an S-video for the standard channels. I would then have to switch inputs on the plasma depending on what channel I was watching. This seemed to confuse the crappy Cablevision box. Plus, I wanted to get Tivo into the mix so... long story longer... I've never used my HD plasma to view an HD broadcast.
Am I alone here? Does anyone else hate the black bars?
I'm getting ready to purchase a 60" or larger plasma and also a series 3 HD Tivo. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can watch HD programs in HD while still viewing standard broadcasts in a widescreen format? Especially with the Tivo?